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IT Member Wins Gender Diversity Award

October 17, 2017

Sarvani Chadalapaka, the high-performance computing (HPC) administrator for UC Merced’s Office of Information Technology, has been named one of six Inclusivity Initiative Scholarship recipients by the nonprofit group Internet 2.

She is the only one of the six to earn the additional recognition of receiving the Gender Diversity Award in Recognition of Carrie Regenstein.

Internet2, an advanced technology community founded by higher-education institutions. operates the nation’s largest and fastest, coast-to-coast research and education network. Chadalapaka and other recipients are being recognized this week at its annual technical meeting, the Internet2 Technology Exchange in San Francisco.

“The impact that Sarvani has had at UC Merced is outstanding,” Associate Vice Chancellor of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Ann Kovalchick said. “She joined the Office of Information Technology just over a year ago, and in that time, she has been a force of change in building our research computing capacity. Her motivation to learn, lead and be a role model for women, immigrants and minorities makes her simply an exceptional IT professional.”

Like many of the students UC Merced serves, Chadalapaka holds multiple identities. She is a woman working in a male-dominated field, an immigrant and a minority. These characteristics are part of what has made her so successful as a role model for students, especially young women and students of color.

As the HPC administrator, she helps students learn to use the campus and regional HPC resources, represents the Office of Information Technology on the Committee on Research Computing, and has taken ownership of the MERCED cluster of supercomputers, re-engineering it last fall to enable a massive expansion.

She is also active with the campus’s Women in STEM group, a member of Women in HPC and part of the Mother-Daughter Science Camp program hosted by the American Association of University Women. She participates in various campus-community efforts, including the Polynesian dance troupe.

Chadalapaka has a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas-Arlington and a bachelor’s degree in science from India. She is passionate about supporting women in STEM at UC Merced.

“Because of this supportive environment, I have grown so much,” she said. “I can lead confidently, and I learn something every day. UC Merced is an enriching environment, and I find my work to be highly rewarding. I like to think that I’ve found ‘my people’ in the campus community at UC Merced and in the HPC community.”

Sarvani Chadalapaka, right, accepts her award this week.